As Rudy C's It: Lunch with Locks

Rudy C... In Da Club? He is also looking for you to get In Da Club... Da Lobo Club!

What does Vitamin water have to do with Lobo Football you ask?

 That is an excellent question that most Lobo fans would not even venture an answer to. Actually it is what Coach Locksley is "selling" in order to entice recruits to UNM football that, in the past, would not give UNM coaches a head fake. The roster currently has at least 4 guys that were legitimate 4 star prospects out of high school. Many detractors point to the "rankings" of scouting services and the relatively low numbers attributed to this years class without bothering to consider that the "scores" and "rankings" are for recruiting classes of 25 while UNM is still one year away from ending the NCAA sanctions that have cost UNM 5 scholarships a year for three years. Still, with only 20 scholarships UNM got a haul of D-1 talent that will shine sooner than later.

I sat down for lunch with Coach Locksley for a one on one lunch date and in our hour of respite from a hectic day. I am just still amazed at the man who pilots UNM football fortunes. He ran down his schedule for the week and it reads like the President or a busy United States Senator. So many people to interact with; a speaking engagement virtually every day, the weekend visit hosting 20 plus children from the UNM Cancer Center who Coach Locksley, his players and staff treated to a day of Lobo Football from soup to nuts. These commitments as well as all of the engagements that most coaches find "annoying" were actually topics that make Coach Locks beam with a sense of community and accomplishment. He talked about how much the fans of UNM need to get on the Vitamin water bandwagon and that means now not waiting for the team to win. He told me about how he is selling the tasty beverage to players and now it is the fans and community turn. What the heck is he talking about?

For those who don't know the story, rapper .50 cent was approached by Vitamin water to get involved early in the enterprise. Not only did he get on the ground floor, but he also ended up with a cool $500 million when he recently sold the company to a conglomerate. No, .50 cent didn't wait for Vitamin water to be a success; he bought in, went "all in" and cashed in!


The same is true for UNM and it's football fortunes. Coach Locks and his recruiting philosophy is pretty simple. Each recruit will have a chance to play in the NFL if his talents dictate that. But if the NFL doesn't call, the player will have a diploma and make as much in his work life as some of the NFL guys. Lock's isn't afraid to go head to head for a prospect against anyone. Relentless and emphasizing relationships, Coach Locks has one goal. Get into the living room and let the magic happen!

This year's recruiting class signing is still sending shock waves around recruiting camps and is the most obvious sign that Coach Locks can bring in serious talent. But even his approach in New Mexico is all in. UNM will visit EVERY high school that plays football; yes even 6 man schools. To my knowledge no other coach at UNM has ever done that.


Now the community has to go "all in" and get on the ground floor. Coach Locks wants Lobo fans to make like .50 cent and not wait for the "cha-ching" but instead be part of what will surely be a success story; Lobo Football. Some may say, "yeah I heard that before". It seems to be about the same attitude as the people who asked Coach Locks on his first day of the job about leaving if he is successful. To me that is the attitude of a loser. To me that is the attitude of someone that is defeated before the game starts. And, to me, that is about as far from Coach Locksley as you can get. So what so you say Albuquerque sports fan? Will the lure of "Vitamin water be enough to quench the Cherry and Silver thirst? I say "CHA-CHING", Now! 

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